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Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

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Australian politician fined, apology demanded 2 years after complaining about LGBT flag

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By Martin Barillas

SYDNEY, Australia, August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — An Australian tribunal ruled that a deputy mayor was guilty of violating the Anti-Discrimination Act because of her comments to a neighbor on the day voters approved same-sex “marriage,” imposing a significant fine.

Julie Passas, a former deputy mayor of Inner West Council in Sydney, was alleged to have offended a male neighbor who raised the rainbow colors of the LGBT movement at his home on the evening that Australian voters approved same-sex “marriage” in 2017. Passas reportedly told Daniel Comensoli that the banner was “offensive to my culture and religion.” She told the man, who lives with a female housemate, that he should not be allowed to marry “until you could breastfeed and have children.” Passas remains an Inner West Sydney councilor, representing the Liberal party.

When police later questioned Passas, following Comensoli’s complaint, Passas told the officer that “the rainbow flag is as offensive as the flag of [Muslim terrorist group] ISIS.” Comensoli alleged that Passas said he is “disgusting.” While the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal determined that Passas had violated anti-discrimination law by inciting hatred, serious contempt, or severe ridicule toward homosexuals, it determined that calling Comensoli “disgusting” did not amount to “vilification” that was worthy of sanction because she did not mention homosexuality in that exchange. In Australia, vilification is found when “an ordinary member” of the public would find something offensive.

The tribunal ruled that Passas must pay Comensoli damages of A$2,500 (approximately US$1,600) and publish an apology in local newspaper Inner West Courier. Passas has vowed to appeal the ruling. Comensoli had demanded A$10,000 in compensation. He no longer lives at the complex where Passas continues to reside. Inner West Council is taking no official action against Passas, having found that she was acting as a private citizen at the time of the incident.

According to documents revealed in court, Comensoli said Passas yelled at him from her apartment balcony on the evening of November 15, 2017. Reporting that he was in his driveway after hanging the rainbow flag outside his apartment, Comensoli claimed that Passas “loudly demanded from [Comensoli] that he remove the flag because it was ‘offensive to my culture and religion’. [Comensoli] refused, to which [Passas] loudly stated words to the effect that [he] should not be afforded the right to marry ‘until you could breastfeed and have children.’”

The documents went on to note: “The exchange was loud enough that it could be heard by other residents in the complex and surrounding areas.” Days later at home, Comensoli and housemate Ashleigh DiNatale said that they heard Passas describe them to another neighbor from the driveway as “disgusting people.” Comensoli lodged a complaint with the police on the next day. When police asked Passas if she had asked Comensoli to pull down the gay flag, she denied that she had done so in an “aggressive, loud, or offensive manner.”

The tribunal heard Passas say Comensoli had “made the whole thing up” and had “turned it into a gay issue.” She asserted that their dispute was over rules regarding balconies at their apartment complex imposed by the homeowners’ association. Passas said the gay liberation banner is “against what I believe in” and is “offensive to people because of what it stands for.”

The tribunal credited Comensoli’s version of the events. Comensoli admitted that he had breached the regulations of the homeowners’ association (strata); he also published his conversation with Passas on Facebook. The tribunal opined that Passas did not have a clear recollection of the events: “She was easily inflamed when questioned about her conduct and stated in cross-examination that the concept of gay marriage was offensive to her, was offensive to her upbringing and religion, and that [Comensoli] ‘made the whole thing up because of a gay issue’, ‘turned it into a gay issue’ when ‘it was about strata’ and was ‘only continuing because of support for him from her political opponents.’”

The tribunal went on to state, “The manner in which the respondent made her demand was inappropriate and objectively likely to incite hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule of homosexual persons, and other LGBTQIA+ persons for whom the rainbow flag is an accepted symbol of identity, in an ordinary member of the general public.”

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Raymond Ibrahim

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10 US reps write Army War College to oppose surrender to Muslim pressure group

Raymond Ibrahim
By Raymond Ibrahim

August 7, 2019 (American Thinker) — In the following letter, written and delivered to the commandant of the U.S. Army War College, ten members of Congress share their "grave concern" that the USAWC "capitulated to the unfounded claims of CAIR [concerning me and my book], and thus damaged the academic freedom and integrity of the high esteem in which the USAWC is held by many around the world[.] ... Not only are we hearing from constituents — military and civilian — on this issue [click here for background], but we're extremely disappointed in the decision to cancel Mr. Ibrahim and his voice on a critical, current issue in our Nation."

This new missive complements an earlier one on the same topic from the National Association of Scholars to President Trump, which currently has nearly five thousand signatures (click here to add your name).

The complete letter from the ten congressmen follows. It makes several excellent points, including how canceling the lecture not only "jeopardizes academic freedom and the analytical ability critical for senior leaders, but also endangers national security in several ways" and that for the War College to tailor its "academic offerings to the demands of one side — especially one designated with terrorist ties — deprives our senior leaders of a balanced viewpoint and analysis critical to success on the battlefield and the future of our Nation."

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July 8, 2019

Major General John S. Kem, Commandant United States Army War College Carlisle Barracks, 22 Ashburn Drive Carlisle, PA 17013-5006

Dear General Kem,

We write to you with grave concern about the recent decision by the United States Army War College (USAWC) and/or the United States Army Heritage Education Center (USAHEC) to postpone a lecture (original invitation enclosed) by Mr. Raymond Ibrahim on 19 June 2019. Mr. Ibrahim, an established and published historian, was invited in January 2019 to lecture on his newest book, "Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West," a historical work analyzing eight decisive battles between Islam and the West. His lecture was to be part of the "2019 Perspectives in Military History Lecture Series," and was to offer a well researched thesis worthy of academic inquiry and debate, not only for faculty, staff, and students of the USAWC, but also to the general public.

The USAWC cancelled/postponed Mr. Ibrahim's lecture. The USAWC initially informed interested parties that the event had been postponed since so few people/students would be on campus in June; a situation that easily would have been foreseen in January, when he was invited and confirmed to speak. During initial contact with USAWC on this issue, we were informed that the postponement was in no way due to an orchestrated protest from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Another USAWC statement maintained that the event was postponed in order to, "pair Mr. Ibrahim's military history insights in close proximity with another historical perspective, at a time when the USAWC curriculum has addressed historical analysis of influences on conflict." Our concern is that the USAWC and/or USAHEC capitulated to the unfounded claims of CAIR, and thus damaged the academic freedom and integrity of the high esteem in which the USAWC is held by many around the world.

On 28 May, CAIR started an orchestrated, public attack on Mr. Ibrahim's lecture, based on unfounded claims of the book's scholarly merit and inaccurate claims about Mr. Ibrahim's character. CAIR is named by the Department of Justice as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the 2007 terrorist funding case against the Holy Land Foundation. CAIR also is recognized to have ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and as a result of these connections, our ally, the United Arab Emirates has designated CAIR a terrorist group. CAIR has a clear narrative that it's attempting to advance, and by ceding to its demands, and canceling events like Mr. Ibrahim's, the USAWC not only has promoted a one-sided perspective of history, but also denied students a valuable perspective on Islamic history.

Not only are we hearing from constituents — military and civilian — on this issue, but we're extremely disappointed in the decision to cancel Mr. Ibrahim and his voice on a critical, current issue in our Nation. We depend on the esteem of an exceptional institution such as the USAWC to provide our future senior leaders, not only for our Nation, but worldwide, with an accurate, historical, balanced and thorough education. By postponing Mr. Ibrahim's lecture, the USAWC jeopardizes academic freedom and the analytical ability critical for senior leaders, but also endangers national security in several ways.

Catering the institution's valuable, academic offerings to the demands of one side — especially one designated with terrorist ties — deprives our senior leaders of a balanced viewpoint and analysis critical to success on the battlefield and the future of our Nation. No outside organization, including CAIR, should have the power to influence the education our senior leaders receive now or in the future.

We look forward to speaking with you and continuing this discussion, and in advance, thank you very much for your time and service.

Very Respectfully,

Scott Perry, Member of Congress
Chuck Fleischmann, Member of Congress
Louie Gohmert, Member of Congress
Rick Crawford, Member of Congress
Randy Weber, Member of Congress
Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S., Member of Congress
Lee Zeldin, Member of Congress
Glenn Grothman, Member of Congress
Steve Stivers, Member of Congress
Andy Biggs, Member of Congress

cc: Geoffrey Mangelsdorf, Director U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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LifeSiteNews.com

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How to porn-proof your home and children

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By LSN

August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Jonathon Van Maren and Kristen Jenson dive into one of the most serious issues our culture is facing today: pornography. We all know pornography is an issue, even within Christian communities, but what can we do to protect our families? Jenson answers that question during this week’s episode of The Van Maren Show

Jenson is the author of Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids and Good Pictures, Bad Pictures Jr: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds. As the founder of Protect Young Minds and a mother of three, she works to help parents porn-proof their homes and their children. Van Maren seeks to answer the many questions he’s received from parents on what they can be doing in their own homes, and Jenson provides some amazing information.

Van Maren and Jenson share several stories of young teens who accessed pornography and acted out. They discuss the fact that these kids aren’t monsters or bad kids; rather, they’re victims of our society. 

Van Maren emphasizes that “one of the things I really want anybody listening to understand is that these children did not choose to grow up in a culture where access to pornography is everywhere. But parents choose to give them access, whether they know it or not.”

Even if parents are very careful, their kids are still likely going to have access to porn. Parents are using filters, accountability software, parental controls, and doing everything they can to reduce exposure, Jenson says, but “they’re not fully protected. [Kids] have to have an internal filter. They need to be persuaded that these things are dangerous.”

Van Maren wraps up his conversation with Jenson by digging into the details of how to keep families protected, how to talk with our kids, and how to help them build that internal filter. Jenson’s books basically give parents a script to use, making it much easier to begin these hard conversations with young kids in an age-appropriate way.

In the end, parents have two choices: “cross your fingers and hope your kids are going to be abnormal and not be curious about nudity. The second plan is the Protection Minds Plan, which is start young, make it a normal part of parenting.” Prepare them and give them a chance to reject pornography before it is something they’re introduced to. 

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play.

For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe to various channels, visit our Pippa webpage here.

To receive weekly emails when a new episode is uploaded, click here.

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14-year-old SewerNugget Soph. YouTube
Alexander Hall

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YouTube silences teenage girl with 1M followers after she blasts LGBT ‘pride’

Alexander Hall
By Alexander Hall

August 7, 2019 (NewsBusters) — The left has no problem with hiding behind activist teenagers, but will scapegoat a right-wing one if she criticizes them. 

YouTube, Google's sister company, deplatformed a 14-year-old conservative girl after she made a video criticizing Pride Month. Her channel has been completely banned from YouTube.

Soph, known on Twitter as @sewernugget, has been penalized by YouTube previously with suspension for "dangerous" humor and poking fun at leftist orthodoxy. With approximately 1 million subscribers before she was shut down, she rose to fame for poking fun at topics such as radical Islam, climate change, and pedophilia among Hollywood elites. 

While her channel has been removed, conservative pundits like BlazeTV host Lauren Chen have reported on its removal, reviewing the content and theorizing why it was taken down. 

Chen featured one clip from Soph's video "Pride and Prejudice" which got her banned. In the video she commented on the nature of LGBT politics: "When you attack the concept of gay pride for what they're doing to children" the left will respond by attacking the critic as someone who hates all gay people, she explained. "It's morality laundering, they put the indefensible together with the legitimate so that you can't scrutinize it without being called a homophobe."

The video then shows a young boy doing a butt gyrating dance known as "twerking" at a gay pride event in public.

Soph followed by going biblical, which might be shocking to hear from such a young and irreverent Youtuber:

Just like Cain murdering his brother for doing better than him, there is resentment against heterosexual couples because gays know that whatever meaning they manage to squeeze out of their relationships will never hold a candle to procreation. Additionally, since they can't reproduce, they have to recruit, so it's beneficial for them to wreck the familial unit.

The video and Soph's entire channel was then swiftly banned from the platform, with a letter saying "Our team has reviewed your content and, unfortunately we think it violates our hate speech policy." 

Chen then cited another account, YouTuber 1791's view, that YouTube is full of left-wing commentators who use just as incendiary rhetoric (if not more-so) with no consequences. 

The example 1791 cited is a black YouTuber talking about why she is in favor of punching Nazis because they "didn't get that urge punched out of them in childhood."

Liberal YouTuber Steven Bonnell, aka Destiny, with more than 200,000 subscribers, has also called for violence as NewsBusters previously reported. He said things such as "I've moved full on to the real violence level when it comes to conservative people, yeah, I think they need to be excised from my f------ country, I think they are demonstrably f------ evil people."

One fellow irreverent YouTuber Johnny Massacre posted a review and reaction to Soph's ban and condemned YouTube for it stranglehold on political conversation. "YouTube is the most powerful website in the world, behind Google, both them owned by the same company and they're just controlling what people can and can't say." He added later that Big Tech is "just a bunch of hardcore liberals controlling the flow of information all throughout the world."

Published with permission from NewsBusters.

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Fr. Ismael Moreno, SJ vimeo.com/323568251 / screenshot
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Jesuits defend Honduran priest whose radio station runs pro-abort views

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By Lianne Laurence

MONTREAL, August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Canadian Jesuits are defending a popular member of their order in Honduras after a Canadian bishops’ investigation found his radio station and foundation publish pro-abortion views.  

Fr. Ismael Moreno, known as “Padre Melo” and renowned for his advocacy for impoverished people in his country despite death threats, is the director of the Fundacion ERIC (l'Équipe de réflexion, d’information et de communication) and Radio Progreso in Honduras.

Both organizations are among 52 groups in the developing world the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) funded in the past but is now jointly investigating with Canada’s bishops for allegedly advocating abortion or LGBT “rights” in contradiction of Catholic teaching. 

The bishops declared a moratorium on funding to these groups — which make up one-quarter of D&P’s 180 partners — pending conclusion of the review, which began in late 2017 and which led 12 bishops to temporarily withhold D&P’s 2018 Lenten collection.

While the bishops and Development and Peace have not revealed the identities of the 52 groups, journalist François Gloutnay of Montreal-based French-language Presence Info Religieuse reported July 29 on a confidential email from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and CCODP to Fr. Moreno.

Jesuit radio station promotes right to abortion

Attached to the email was a letter signed by Évelyne Beaudoin of CCODP and Bishop Ken Nowakowski of the CCCB expressing concern over items on Radio Progreso’s website that “may be incompatible with Catholic social and ethical teaching,” according to Gloutnay.

The letter cited three articles or “interventions” in particular, among them one by “a self-proclaimed lesbian and a pro-abortion feminist who defends the right to abortion” (una lesbiana autodeclarada, proabortista feminista, que defiende el derecho al aborto).

The email included a 30-page attachment of a “series of screenshots of a website” from January 2018, documenting that the term “abortion” came up 25 times on the joint site of the radio station and foundation, although some of those texts have since been removed, Gloutnay reported.

The letter asked Fr. Moreno to clarify by August 12 the editorial policy of Radio Progreso and Fundacion ERIC on abortion.

Fr. Moreno’s July 23 response blasted the CCCB and CCODP enquiry as “not good news” and “as cold as the Canadian winter,” Gloutnay reported. 

The Jesuit said his radio station or foundation had no official editorial policy on abortion, according to an English translation of his letter here.

However, Fr. Moreno admitted there were articles published on the site that “are contrary to official Church Doctrine,” adding: “I accept that our tolerance of articles along these lines can at the very least confuse some of our readers.”

He agreed “with the principle of working to redefine criteria in order to avoid restricting ourselves to tolerance of ideas that may lead to confusion or appear to be part of our editorial line,” the Jesuit wrote.

But at the same time “I have to say that it is not in the interests of the Church, in this day and age, for the media to restrict the circulation of ideas.” 

Fr. Moreno also objected to the secrecy of the joint investigation, saying he would “inform all our members and all our friends of your suspicions about what we are, what we believe and what you do.”

He would rather not have the funds if they were granted on a “conditional” basis, Fr. Moreno said. 

“We need these funds, but we will never accept being humiliated.”

Jesuits defend Fr. Moreno: censorship ‘dangerous’

On July 30 the Canadian Jesuits released a public statement defending Fr. Moreno and questioning the “criteria” the bishops are using in their review.

“Pope Francis has, in recent years, helped the Church articulate a way beyond the impasse of a too narrow understanding of the defence of life,” the statement noted.

“He has reminded us that we must recover a robust awareness of the prudent and merciful discernment, the wise and patient sifting, that is needed when we apply the universal moral doctrine of the Church to particular cases.”

Moreover, in the midst of violence and breakdown of Honduran society, Fr. Moreno’s radio station and foundation “seeks to open a space for the participation of the poorest in this social and civic conversation,” the statement asserted.

“Inevitably, voices that agree with much of the Church’s social teaching, but not fully in accord with every aspect of it, will be heard,” the Jesuits stated. 

“[F]or this mission of service to the rebuilding of civil society to succeed, censorship on the basis of a narrow concern for a part of the overall teaching of the Church is dangerous, precisely because it excludes important actors in civil society.”

The statement said that Fr. Moreno “and his team have suffered serious consequences in the form of countless death threats to the point where he is under police protection.”

Moreover, “[s]ome members of his team and people with whom they work closely have paid with their lives for their commitment.”

The bishops will receive a report on the CCCB/CCODP investigation at their plenary meeting from September 23 to 27, as well as a report on Development and Peace by external investigator Deloitte Canada, according to the Catholic Register

LifeSiteNews has been reporting extensively for years on D&P’s funding of pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and pro-LGBT groups in the developing world. It broke the news in 2009 that the Catholic aid association was funding pro-abortion groups in Mexico, which prompted the bishops to investigate, and ultimately to establish a standing committee on D&P. 

In March 2018, LifeSiteNews reported that D&P petitioned Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to pour more money into its “feminist” foreign aid policy which, among other things, seeks to empower women in developing countries by peddling contraception and abortion. 

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Judge allows trans suit against MN high school locker rooms to proceed

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By Calvin Freiburger

August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Minnesota district judge is allowing a gender-confused student’s lawsuit to proceed against the Anoka-Hennepin School District over its policy on transgender locker rooms, declaring a need for “immediate” resolution of the matter.

In February, the group Gender Justice and the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the district on behalf of a Coon Rapids High School student identified only as NH. The suit alleges that the district “discriminated” against NH, a member of the school's boys swim team, by directing her to change in an “enhanced-privacy bathroom” instead of letting her use the boys locker room.

The suit claims the restriction caused NH to be repeatedly hospitalized for mental health, and eventually transfer to another school district.

“Transgender students themselves are the best judge of where they will be safe,” Gender Justice attorney Christy Hall declared. “And when the school board comes in and says you can’t use this restroom or this locker room like every other student, it singles them out. It makes them have to answer questions from their peers, not all of whom might be aware they’re trans.”

The district argued that the case was moot because NH was no longer a student, and that the Minnesota Supreme Court had previously ruled that assigning sex-specific facilities based on biological sex didn’t constitute sexual-orientation discrimination. But on Monday, District Judge Jenny Walker Jasper rejected the district’s bid to dismiss the suit and allowed the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to intervene on NH’s behalf, the Star Tribune reported.

"There can be no doubt that this case raises an important public issue of statewide significance that should be decided immediately," Jasper wrote, adding that the case will "eliminate the need for the school district's arbitrary 'case-by-case' decisionmaking."

“Separate never has been, and never will be, equal,” Minnesota Department of Human Rights Deputy Commissioner Irina Vaynerman declared in a press release. “Since 1993, the Minnesota Human Rights Act has protected everyone from gender identity discrimination, including transgender and gender nonconforming students. The Court’s ruling affirms our right to uphold these protections.”

Schools that haven’t yet surrendered to transgender activists generally accommodate gender-confused students by allowing them to use private staff restrooms or other single-occupancy facilities. Conservatives argue that forcing children and teens to share intimate facilities with members of the opposite sex subject them to needless emotional stress, and that giving males a viable pretext to enter female bathrooms or lockers increases the risk of assault.

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WATCH: Drag queen teaches kids to ‘twerk’ at library story hour

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By Calvin Freiburger

DEVON, England, August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A drag queen in the United Kingdom was caught on camera teaching small children at a library story hour how to perform the sexually-suggestive dance move called "twerking." 

Mama G is a cross-dressing man and drag artist who “has appeared at libraries, theatres, bookshops and cafes all over the UK,” according to the Petite Pantos theater company. Devon Libraries promoted his Story Hour events in North Devon as “sharing tales that celebrate being who you are & loving who you want.”

Video recently emerged from one of those Drag Queen Story Hour events, showing Mama G explaining and demonstrating before an audience of children how to twerk.

“All you need to do is you just need to stand with your feet sort of shoulder-width apart like so…and then you crouch down in this sort of position, so you’re bump’s sticking out,” Mama G says, briefly looking back to ask someone off-camera if they’re “taking this all in.” And “then you just move your bum up and down like that. And that’s twerking.”

Numerous parents and other concerned citizens have spoken out against the performance, Devon Live reports

“Wholly inappropriate for children,” one said, asking Devon Libraries “what on earth were you thinking.” Another asked, “On what planet do you think this sexualized womanface act is appropriate for young children?”

“My children would have found this alarming and confusing, and probably have been put off books for life,” Diana Toynbee said.

Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs Devon Libraries, responded with a statement that didn’t address the specific objections, but insisted it was “committed to ensuring our libraries are welcoming, safe and inclusive places for all,” that it is taking its "responsibilities very seriously," and had performed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on Mama G.

After the controversy broke out, Mama G changed his Twitter profile so only approved followers can see it, but not before critics saved screenshots – including one of a tweet in which Mama G appears to ask children to send him their email addresses.

“You could always do some Mama G inspired arts and crafts!” he says. “If you want one of my colouring sheets for a rainy day, DM me your email!” Suffolk Libraries UK later put out a statement that Mama G claims the message was intended only for parents:

Drag Queen Storytime events around the world have drawn controversy for both the sexual and gender-fluid themes they promote to children, as well as for the individuals they’ve put in close proximity to children, such as convicted sex offenders and performers behind X-rated skits involving children’s characters, and for attracting radical transgender protesters.

The San Francisco-based Drag Queen Story Hour program describes its express purpose as capturing the “imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood” and giving children “unabashedly queer role models”; while Louisiana drag queen Dylan Pontiff admits the events are about “the grooming of the next generation.”

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Theologian: Vatican used ‘Stalinist methods with velvet gloves’ to oust JPII profs

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A respected theologian has openly denounced the dismissal of top John Paul II professors, saying the manner in which they were removed shows that, in the Church, “we have arrived at using Stalinist methods with velvet gloves.” 

He has also suggested that “perhaps the time is coming when we must stand up and move towards St. Peter’s,” to denounce the use of similar tactics at the upcoming Amazonian Synod. 

In a letter published today on Stilum curae, Monsignor Nicola Bux, a theologian and former consulter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during Benedict XVI’s pontificate, said the dismissal of former John Paul Institute chair of fundamental moral theology, Monsignor Livio Melina, and chair of specific moral theology, Fr. José Noriega, shows that “there is no more confrontation and dispute in the Church. If you don’t think as the leader does, you are identified, cataloged and excluded. 

“This is the harmful effect of the ideology of dialogue, which is fine as long as you think in the same lines of the one who preaches it,” he said. 

In his remarks, Msgr. Bux highlighted what he called the “backwardness” of what has happened at the John Paul II institute “compared to the Middle Ages,” when Franciscans and Dominicans engaged in theological disputes based on the strength of their arguments. 

“We have arrived at using Stalinist methods with velvet gloves,” he said. 

“What would happen in any other university if you did this?” Msgr. Bux asked.

“What academic prestige will be left to John Paul II?” he added, noting that the question is not simply whether the institute will continue to be a university inspired by John Paul II, but whether it will continue to be a university institution at all.

Msgr. Bux said the responsibility for the handling of the John Paul II Institute restructuring rests “in a singular way” on the shoulders of Institute president, Pierangelo Sequeri, but he added that he “certainly” acted on the orders of his superiors.  

In his remarks, Msgr. Bux noted that the John Paul II institute is not the only place where “Stalinist methods with velvet gloves” are being employed. “In a brutal way or with inconsistent motivations, the same thing is happening in seminaries, in faculties, in the Congregations and in the Roman dicasteries,” he said.

The Italian theologian said “the paradox” is that “ecumenical and interreligious dialogue is propagated to the outside,” while inside the Church the “dictatorship of single thought is affirmed.”

Turning to the upcoming Synod on the Amazon, Msgr. Bux suggested that “perhaps the time is coming when we must stand up and move towards St. Peter’s, from all over the world, to denounce the new latrocinium ephesinum.” 

In ecclesiastical Latin, latrocinium is a pejorative term used for ecumenical councils regarded as subversive to Catholic doctrine and canon law. The term has been used particularly in reference to the second Council of Ephesus in 449, which has been dubbed the “Robber Council” (Latrocinium Ephesinum). 

“As a result of the conflicts that arose [at this council] over the person of Jesus Christ, and especially of the later one of Chalcedon (451) Christian churches were divided into Chalcedonian and Pre-Chalcedonian,” Msgr. Bux explained. 

“It seems right to infer that, after the next synod [on the Amazon], Jesus Christ will be declared outdated, because it seems that the Amazon and some other ‘European regions,’ no longer need him for salvation, because they are fine as they are,” said Bux, who has openly criticized the Oct. 6-27 meeting as an attempt to “create another church” by “demolishing” the true Church from within.

“Meanwhile,” he added, “the ‘moral theology’ of marriage and family desired by the Lord, which John Paul II defended and spread at great personal cost, is declared outdated.” 

The “warning signs” of an impending “Ephesian brigandage” are looming on the horizon, Msgr. Bux said. 

Pointing to Benedict XVI’s private meeting with Msgr. Melina last Friday, the theologian urged Catholics to take action, saying: “Let us follow Benedict XVI who expressed solidarity with the defenestrated (i.e. dismissed) president, and imagine Pope Francis and how disappointed he is by all of this, despite all his exhortations to pluralism, parresia, and synodality.”

Msgr. Bux concluded his letter with this appeal: “Let us run and try and mend the situation, first and foremost teachers and students of John Paul II, before it is too late. Everyone to St. Peter’s!”

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Feds ‘watching Google very closely’ for ‘very illegal’ election bias, Trump warns

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By Calvin Freiburger

August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Trump administration will be keeping a close eye on Google to guard against potential efforts to influence the 2020 presidential election, President Donald Trump promised in a series of tweets Tuesday.

“Sundar Pichai of Google was in the Oval Office working very hard to explain how much he liked me, what a great job the Administration is doing, that Google was not involved with China’s military, that they didn’t help Crooked Hillary over me in the 2016 Election, & that they are NOT planning to illegally subvert the 2020 Election despite all that has been said to the contrary,” Trump said.

“It all sounded good until I watched Kevin Cernekee, a Google engineer, say terrible things about what they did in 2016 and that they want to ‘Make sure that Trump losses in 2020,’” the president continued. “Lou Dobbs stated that this is a fraud on the American public. Peter Schweizer stated with certainty that they suppressed negative stories on Hillary Clinton, and boosted negative stories on Donald Trump. All very illegal.”

“We are watching Google very closely!” he assured the public.

Cernekee, the ex-Google employee referenced by Trump, told Fox News on Monday that Google executives “want to use all the power and resources they have to control the flow of information to the public and make sure that Trump loses in 2020.”

Google denied the charges, and Mike Wacker (another ex-Google engineer who has exposed other details about bias at the internet giant) claims that Cernekee was a supporter of “alt-right” groups including white supremacist Richard Spencer. Cernekee denied Wacker’s allegations.

Whatever the truth behind those charges may be, the claim that Google wants to sway the 2020 election is backed by leaked video of top Google executives expressing a desire to “make sure” that what senior V.P. for global affairs Kent Walker called the current period of “populism, of nationalism” is no more than a “blip” or “hiccup” in a “moral arc of history bend[ing] towards progress.”

The president also referenced a recent interview journalist Peter Schweizer gave to Fox Business’s Lou Dobbs.

“There’s academic research that shows they [Google] suppress negative stories about Hillary Clinton, and they boosted negative stories about Donald Trump,” said Schweizer, who participated in the tech exposé documentary The Creepy Line. “In 2016 I think like a lot of the establishment they thought that Trump was going to lose, so they didn’t feel like they had to tip the scale all that much. This time I don’t think they’re going to make that same mistake and I think they’re going to go all-in.”

Trump’s latest comments follow his Justice Department’s Antitrust Division launching a broad review of whether Google America’s other major internet companies for potential “practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers,” including “search” and “social media” concerns.

On Monday, a newly released Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll showed that 71% of respondents support the antitrust investigation.

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Sacrilegious homosexual dance performed in historic Montreal Catholic church

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By Michael Hichborn

WARNING: This article contains videos or links to videos that show a sacrilegious, homoerotic event inside a Catholic church and a graphic homosexual dance.

MONTREAL, August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An historic Catholic church in Montreal is at the center of a major controversy regarding the use of its sacred space for a profane and sinful act performed in the sanctuary.

LGBT artist and activist Matthew Richardson released his most recent production titled, “Hallelujah” on May 1 of this year. The video was set in the sanctuary of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church and was produced in order to promote a message of “tolerance” by juxtaposing messages of “hate,” religious images, and homoerotic choreography. And while Richardson claims to have hoped “not to say something bad about religion,” the fact remains that the production of his performance within the church may have constituted acts of sacrilege and desecration.

“Hallelujah” opens with a semi-nude man standing in the sanctuary of the church, facing the tabernacle and high altar. After images of violence and protests are contrasted with religious art, another semi-nude man walks up the aisle to the sanctuary, where both men embrace and dance in a manner suggestive of homosexual intercourse. All of this takes place to an adaptation of Leonard Cohen’s song, “Hallelujah.” At the end of the video, the two men caress and smear each other with colored chalk dust and gyrate together as they produce a banner with a rainbow-colored heart and the words, “Choose Love,” and the banner is raised in the sanctuary where they had been dancing.

According to the Code of Canon Law, this performance could very well have constituted acts of both desecration and sacrilege. Canon 1210 says that “anything out of harmony with the holiness of the place is forbidden,” and Canon 1211 says that if the acts done are “gravely injurious and give scandal to the faithful,” and “are so serious and so contrary to the sacred character of the place,” the local bishop may judge that the space has been desecrated and cannot be used for worship until “the harm is repaired by means of the penitential rite.”

Can. 1210 In a sacred place only those things are to be permitted which serve to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion. Anything out of harmony with the holiness of the place is forbidden. The Ordinary may however, for individual cases, permit other uses, provided they are not contrary to the sacred character of the place.

Can. 1211 Sacred places are desecrated by acts done in them which are gravely injurious and give scandal to the faithful when, in the judgement of the local Ordinary, these acts are so serious and so contrary to the sacred character of the place that worship may not be held there until the harm is repaired by means of the penitential rite which is prescribed in the liturgical books.

If the performance does not constitute an act of desecration in the eyes of the bishop, at the very least, it constitutes an act of sacrilege. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines sacrilege as follows:

2120 Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.

Many Catholics have been left to wonder how such a thing could happen in a Catholic church. In an interview with the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, Richardson explained how he had received formal permission from the parish for his performance. “I honestly just went into the church, asked who I could speak to about the idea, and then proposed what I had in mind,” Richardson said. “They welcomed me, my message, and our creation with open arms.”

In a Facebook live session just prior to the video’s release, Richardson gave additional details about his interaction with an unnamed representative of the parish, from whom he received the permission. At the 8:30 mark, Richardson explains that he read online about how St. Peter the Apostle does a lot of “LGBT support and outreach,” prompting him to reach out to the church with a presentation and proposal on his project. Richardson said:

“The guy I was talking to had seen my first video, so he had seen ‘Arrow,’ and as soon as he saw that it was the same guy who made that, he was like, ‘that’s fine, let’s just … you can, we’ll do it, let’s talk about it.’ So, it was amazing to me that I didn’t have to do that much work to book the cathedral, it just happened. It was very easy.”

At 11:12 in the Facebook live video, Richardson took a question from someone who asked, “How did the church feel about being at the forefront of a gay relationship?” Richardson responded:

“They really support it. The guy who I worked with had already seen my first video, so he knew the message I was wanting to share anyway, and so he really supported what I was doing. I showed him the whole presentation with my message, what it would look like, what it would be, but I wanted them to make sure that I wasn’t saying something bad about religion, I’m just saying, no matter what your faith, you can still be kind.”

Richardson’s previous video “Arrow” (click HERE to watch; viewer discretion advised), which he indicated the parish contact had seen and reacted approvingly toward, was a four-minute, near-pornographic dance video showing two semi-nude men embracing, kissing passionately, and even grasping each other’s crotches.   

This sort of controversy is not new for St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. In 2015, the parish produced a promotional video, explaining the history and architecture of the church. In the last 20 seconds of the video, the narrator explains (in French), “Over the years, St. Peter the Apostle has become the parish of the gay community in Montreal.”

Just last month, St. Peter the Apostle celebrated the funeral Mass for same-sex “marriage” advocate Laurent Mccutcheon. Mccutcheon committed himself to the advancement of public acceptance of homosexuality after the 1969 Stonewall riot, and was a major proponent behind Quebec’s 2005 recognition of same-sex “marriage.” In celebration of Mccutcheon’s promotion of homosexuality, St. Peter the Apostle was decorated with rainbow-colored streamers.

The determination as to whether the parish has indeed been desecrated by the homoerotic performance is entirely up to the local ordinary, Archbishop Christian Lépine.  

Catholics wishing to contact the archbishop to ask him to investigate this sacrilegious event and make a determination on whether the performance constituted an act of desecration may do so with the information provided below:

Most Reverend Christian Lépine 
2000, Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal (Qc) H3H 1G4
(514) 925-4300
[email protected] 

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Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia.
Cathy Ruse

News , , ,

URGENT: Tell Virginia’s governor not to ban healing therapy for gender-confused kids

Cathy Ruse
By

August 7, 2019 (Family Research Council) — Disgraced Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has directed his Board of Counseling to punish any counselor who responds to a teen's cry for help to accept her own physical biology. 

That's called putting politics in front of people. 

You have heard of these bans. They're sometimes called bans on "conversion therapy." LGBT activists describe nightmarish scenarios of cruel methods used on "gay" people to make them "straight," without any real evidence, to get what they really want: sweeping bans to outlaw not only cruel methods, but all therapy. Even talk therapy. 

They are speech bans, pure and simple.

Eighteen states have already thrown their teens under the bus. Democrats in Virginia have tried and failed to impose these speech bans through the legislative process. So Northam is doing it through the back door, through executive branch planned regulations.

They ban speech about unwanted same-sex attraction, but also about unwanted transgender feelings.

The regulations would ban talk therapy that "seeks to change" a young person's "gender identity," including "efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions."

Gosh, that almost sounds like these regulations would stop Fairfax County public school "sexperts" from trying to convince little boys that they might really be girls. 

But read on. The regulations specify that the ban does not prohibit counseling "that provides assistance to a person undergoing gender transition" or that provides "acceptance" and "support" for a person's "identity exploration." 

You got that? It's a one-way street. Under Northam's ban, counselors are only allowed to use words that promote transgenderism — they cannot use words to help someone avoid it. 

As a philosophical matter, this is outrageous. Its legality is dubious.

But look at the real-world impact of this policy.

Say a girl suffers from gender dysphoria. Say at some point she "socially transitions" to living as a boy. Maybe she got the idea in her Fairfax County Sex Ed class. Now she wants help living as a girl. 

Governor Northam wants to make sure she can't get it. 

Ah, but if she wants help living as a manthat she can find. 

It's a one-way ratchet. It's the Hotel Transgender. You can check in, but you can never leave.

If you live in Virginia, you can tell Governor Northam what you think of his proposed regulations. He is playing politics with real people's lives. And partisan politics should not be used to ban biology-affirming counseling for patients who want it. 

August 7th is the deadline to offer comments on the initial stage of the planned regulations. 

Please go to the Virginia Town Hall website HERE, click on "Enter a comment," and tell Northam's Board why this counseling ban is a very bad idea!

Published with permission from the Family Research Council.

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Bill Donohue

Opinion , ,

Those who blame mass shootings on politics are missing the point

Bill Donohue
By Bill Donohue

August 7, 2019 (Catholic League) — Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the latest mass shootings:

As a sociologist who has taught Criminology and written about mass shootings, it is distressing to listen to all the chatter about Republicans and Democrats being blamed for the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Most of the talk is pure bunk. At the heart of the problem are what I call the three "B's": beliefs, bonds, and boundaries (see my book The Catholic Advantage for the details).

It is not people of faith who are the most likely to go on a shooting rampage; it is those who have no religious convictions. This does not mean that simply being an agnostic or an atheist is sufficient to cause someone to become a mass murderer. That's nonsense. But to discount the role of religion in examining the lives of young men who are socially dysfunctional is also nonsense, and this is especially true of mass murderers.

Bonds matter greatly. If someone has a strong relationship with his family and his friends (not to mention God), he is considerably less likely to become a mass killer. This does not mean that all loners are likely to wind up like the El Paso and Dayton killers. But it does mean that this characteristic, when coupled with the other two "B's," is an important variable.

Not respecting boundaries is also associated with criminal behavior. All of us cross the line once in a while, but to those who find it easy to do so (no pangs of guilt), and who do so with regularity, beware: They are more likely to hurt someone than the rest of us.

From what we know about the suspected El Paso killer, he was a classic loner. Leigh Ann Locascio, a former neighbor of Patrick Crusius, called him an extreme loner who sat alone on the school bus. "He wouldn't talk to people," she said. "No one really knew him."

Connor Betts, the suspected Dayton killer, was described by one of his bandmates, Jesse Creekbaum, as a "loner." Another person who knew him, Brad Howard, said Betts was a quiet kid who kept to himself.

It is not clear what religious affiliation, if any, Crusius had. But we know that Betts worshipped Satan and wore satanic patches on his jacket.

Much too much is being made of the political leanings of these men. Crusius was upset with the "Hispanic invasion of Texas," and in the eyes of some that makes him a white nationalist. But he was also an extreme environmentalist, a critic of big corporations, and a proponent of universal health care. Betts was a self-described leftist who championed the cause of left-wing terrorists.

There are many things that can be done to lessen the likelihood of mass shootings, but not to address rootlessness is a serious mistake. Last year a Cigna study showed that the most likely persons to be lonely were young people, not the elderly. Most of them, of course, will not become mass murderers, but it is from their ranks, not the well adjusted, where the next mass shooter is likely to come from.

Earlier this year, a study was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology that found a significant increase of mental distress, depression, and suicidal thoughts among adults. The greatest increase was among young people.

What's going on? The lack of social interaction is a real problem. By 2012, it was evident that smartphones and social media had overtaken the lives of millions of young people. The authors of this study concluded that there was a relationship between the increase in loneliness among young people and the use of smartphones and social media. It's the amount of time that young people spend on their phones that is most disturbing. Indeed, the more time spent with these devices, the greater the risk of depression.

Of course, most young persons who are addicted to their phone are not likely to murder. But again, we would be remiss not to study the forces that create the milieu in which anti-social behavior is more likely to occur.

It is irresponsible to allow ideologues to drive the discussion of mass shootings. This problem will not be curbed by blaming white nationalists or Christian nationalists (they are the new bad guys in the left-wing playbook). After all, young black men who kill each other in the inner city with abandon have nothing to do with white nationalists or Christian nationalists. That they are given less attention by the media than violent white men smacks of racism.

Cities, towns and villages across the nation should institute hot lines for the public to call when they suspect that a young person is seriously in need of help. The hot lines would not involve the police: they would be staffed by the clergy, guidance counselors, social workers, and psychologists. After fielding a call, they would make an assessment and, if necessary, contact those who know the individual. If the troubled youth cooperates, he would be given the help he needs.

There won't be any major progress until we focus on what can be done about the lack of beliefs, bonds, and boundaries that are characteristic of mass killers. School starts soon so time is of the essence.

Published with permission from the Catholic League.

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Dave Ball

Opinion

Political correctness is how the totalitarian left takes over

Dave Ball
By Dave Ball

August 7, 2019 (American Thinker) — Political correctness is a liberal mind control strategy intended to stifle any thoughts or actions inconsistent with radical liberalism. It is the abrogation of free speech and the right to hold an opinion contrary to established liberal-socialist doctrine.

Political correctness didn't just happen; it has been carefully crafted over time. Radical liberals long ago realized that their emotion-based dogma could not withstand logical examination. The only solution for protecting radical liberalism until it undergoes its full evolution to totalitarianism was to snuff any contrary thought and speech. This being the case, the liberal cabal of coastal elites, academia, and victimhood profit centers, supported by the always faithful mainstream media, employed well honed weapons such as indoctrination of children, mass shaming, and shouting down dissent while playing on conservative apathy to firmly root political correctness in the mass psyche.

It is not just the stifling of contrary speech that is so troubling about political correctness and its radical practitioners. Also, it seeks to eliminate the very ability to think contrary thoughts.

For those not familiar with George Orwell's classic dystopian novel 1984, Oceania is a mega-state, one of three that exist on Earth after a global war. It is ruled by "The Party." Oceania is a metaphor for what might happen under one-party rule. The government, which is the Party, is the model of government overreach to the point of totalitarianism. Individual thought and even the individual are completely repressed. Society is completely defined by its ruler, the Party. Thought Police assure that all adhere to the commands of Big Brother and the Party.

The primary tool by which individual thought is eliminated is a new language called "Newspeak." In an appendix to the book, Orwell describes Newspeak and its principles. Of relevance is the concept that "[i]f thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought." In 1984, the Newspeak language is used to narrow rather than broaden thought and ideas. The bottom line is that if there is not a word for something, that something does not exist. For example, in Newspeak, there is no word for freedom, so the concept of freedom cannot exist. Our language exists to describe what we see as reality. If that language is replaced by a narrowing language, then language asserts control over reality. When words are in control of reality, rational argument becomes impossible. Liberal emotionalism wins.

The operation of political correctness is eerily similar to Newspeak. Words that reflect non-liberal concepts are ostracized and replaced with often meaningless and non-definitive words.

Apologists for P.C. will tell you that the terms are intended to be egalitarian, inclusive, and not hurtful ("hurtful" itself being a P.C. word). The practitioners will freely tell you that the larger P.C. concept is to develop a new way of thinking that will lead to new ways of acting. Language changes thought, and thought changes action. The proponents of P.C. will tell you that when more and more people speak with P.C. terms, more people will accept a new way of doing things. This is, of course, a way of saying that people will accept doing things their way.

The proponents of political correctness will tell you that the intention of the sought after behavior modification is to eliminate sexism; racism; homophobia; transgenderphobia; and a lot of other phobias and isms that presumably include conservatism, patriotism, nationalism, Christianity, and any other non-liberal doctrine. The presumption is that the behaviors or thought processes they wish to eliminate in fact exist and are bad.

There are, in this nation, many rational people who, for example, do not agree that homosexuality and transgenderism are either innate or good and believe that it is those behaviors that should be modified rather than embraced.

Racism is possibly the most overused word in the media and, consequently, means almost nothing since it is a term applied to any comment or criticism liberals don't like or something for which they have no response. The same with sexism. People are male and female. They are he and she. Why not refer to each as such?

Other terms are defined by the P.C. police as "hurtful." What exactly is that? The connection between many terms and their supposed "hurt" is often too tenuous to even imagine.

We have lost our sense of humor because poking fun at something is now politically incorrect. P.C. people have forgotten how to smile and laugh. Oversensitivity is being inculcated in our population from childhood. It's a necessary precursor of believing political correctness.

Examples of P.C. ridiculousness abound. Why, for example, are the names for the Atlanta and Cleveland baseball teams, the Braves and the Indians, hurtful to American Indians? Why are American Indians called "Native Americans" when even they came from elsewhere? Why is someone called a racist for pointing out to Rep. Elijah Cummings that the part of Baltimore he represents is a disgusting mess? Because it is. The area would be a mess whether or not Cummings were black. Why is pointing out how ridiculous and misguided the "Squad" of freshman Democrat representatives are termed racist? They are ridiculous and misguided whatever color or heritage they might be. Why is any remark questioning homosexuality labeled homophobic when there are genuine questions regarding the psychology of same-sex attraction? Why must the sexually dysphoric, who erroneously call themselves transgendered, be called by a dozen personal pronouns, often changing, when their actual sex is either male or female, for which there are well established pronouns?

Political correctness is reaching new and ridiculous heights on our college campuses. Words now banned by various college handbooks include "soup Nazi," "illegal alien," "Third World," "lame excuse," "man up," "crazy," "psycho," "crusader," "dwarf," "Eskimo," and "grandfathered in." Also on the banned list are "America" and "American." To use a non-P.C. term, this is crazy.

While some of the specific words may be amusing to rational people, the concept is concerning. By eliminating masculine and feminine pronouns, the liberals are creating a unisex society, blurring the actual differences between men and women. Normalizing homosexuality and transgenderism is a move in this direction also. Eliminating words like "alien," we are moved toward the much coveted one-world concept of the Left. Applying "racist" and "hateful" to everything not to liberal liking smothers dissent and alternative points of view.

Eventually, Newspeak turns to action. Newspeak encourages boys to seek to participate in women's sports. Newspeak pushes males into female locker rooms and bathrooms. Newspeak bans conservative and traditional speakers from our campuses. Newspeak is an insurmountable wall between groups of polarized people. Newspeak is the language of totalitarianism.

As words disappear, the breadth of thought is narrowed. Do you remember when the big discussion was over "Miss," "Mrs.," and "Ms."? How long will it be until we arrive at Newspeak's state of doubleplusungood?

Dave Ball is the author of conservative political commentary, a guest on political talk shows, an elected official, and a county party official.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Phil Lawler

Opinion , , ,

Former president sheds light on modernist takeover of Vatican life and family institute

Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

August 7, 2019 (CatholicCulture.org) — Pay careful attention to the statement by Msgr. Livio Melina regarding the radical change in orientation at the John Paul II Institute, where he, until recently, served as president:

If the decisions taken by Archbishop Paglia are not revoked, then what they are saying is: 'The interpretation of the magisterium of Pope Francis in continuity with the previous Magisterium is intolerable in the Church.'

Although he is openly critical of Archbishop Paglia, who is presiding over the ideological purge at the Institute, Msgr. Melina is also being diplomatic in his own way; he is carefully avoiding criticism of Pope Francis. Archbishop Paglia wants the revamped Institute to promote the thought of Pope Francis. Msgr. Melina does not oppose that goal; he wants merely to be allowed to explain how the thought of Pope Francis can be understood in the light of previous Church teaching. But such explanations, Msgr. Melina tells us, are "intolerable" to the Institute's new leadership.

Frankly I don't see how the thought of Pope Francis — particularly in Amoris Laetitia can be squared with previous magisterial teachings of the Church. But Msgr. Melina is doing his best to reconcile them. And now, he tells us, that effort is "intolerable" to the prelate who heads the Vatican institution dedicated to promoting Catholic teaching on marriage.

The purge at the John Paul II Institute has eliminated the faculty members most closely associated with the thought of the Pope — and canonized saint — after whom the Institute is named. But if Msgr. Melina's charge is accurate, something even more shocking is taking place. If it is "intolerable" to say that Pope Francis is teaching in continuity with prior Church teachings, then it seems quite clear that the John Paul II Institute is now dedicated to the proposition that previous Church teachings should be discarded. According to Archbishop Paglia, as interpreted by Msgr. Melina, the Church must stop teaching what she once taught, and focus on the very different message advanced by Pope Francis.

That is a shocking, radical claim. Is Msgr. Melina overstating his case? Is he giving an unfair portrayal of Archbishop Paglia's goals? The Institute is not yet offering an explanation for the latest changes, asking for "a few weeks' time" to answer what should be recognized as an urgent question.

Bear in mind that up until this month Msgr. Melina has not been an alarmist. He has not condemned Amoris Laetitia; he has, again, sought to reconcile that document with prior authoritative teaching.

It's significant, too, that Msgr. Melina made his statement to La Verità after he had met with Pope-emeritus Benedict, and spoken with the former Pontiff about the turmoil at the Institute. It's fair, isn't it, to assume that if Mgsr. Melina perceived a crisis in the Church, he would have discussed that crisis with Benedict? And apparently Benedict said nothing to sway the younger theologian from his view that that this was, indeed, a crisis. I do not mean to suggest that Benedict endorsed or encouraged the statement that Msgr. Melina made; I doubt that he would do so. But evidently the retired Pope did not discourage him. Benedict reportedly expressed his "solidarity" with Msgr. Melina, who came away from their conversation resolved to call attention to the crisis.

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.

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Joshua Arnold

Opinion , ,

VA governor’s push to force transgender counseling on kids is smart leftist politics

Joshua Arnold
By Joshua Arnold

August 7, 2019 (Family Research Council) — Still grappling with the blackface controversy, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is trying to salvage his political career by banning free speech. It's far savvier than it sounds.

The Northam Administration has thrown an anchor line around the ascendant ideology of transgenderism, and hopes that, with some lift from the self-appointed arbiters of cultural truth, he can resist the calls to resign coming from his own party.

Cloaked in the language of "care" and "non-discrimination," the Virginia Board of Counseling is seeking public comment on a regulation that would declare "practicing conversion therapy/sexual orientation change efforts with minors has the potential to be harmful." The comment period is open until 11:59 P.M. on August 7. In less flowery language, licensed counselors in Virginia would not be allowed to counsel a minor with same-sex attraction or gender incongruence against living out his or her feelings — even if those feelings are unwanted.

The regulatory notice admits it comes only after transgender ideologues tried to push the bill through the Virginia House of Delegates in 2018, where it was ultimately voted down in committee.

This regulation bans all types of sexual orientation change efforts, including non-coercive talk therapy. (There is no credible case for defending electric shock or other torture practices as "therapy.") But this regulation bans talking about thoughts and feelings except in the manner endorsed by the state. It demands that the counselor affirm a minor's feelings of same-sex attraction; it prohibits the counselor from affirming a minor's desire not to experience same-sex attraction.

What would be the consequences?

If a minor is unhappy with his or her body, the counselor must affirm those feelings of self-loathing. The counselor must acquiesce to this state-sanctioned, sadistic charade, even to the point of steering his clients toward puberty-blocking drugs. The regulation would prohibit the counselor from informing the minor or his/her parents these drugs still have not been proven safe. The counselor would be forced to support life-changing, body-altering surgeries which would permanently remove healthy organs that distinguish a young person's body as male or female. The counselor could not discuss the scientific evidence showing that sexual orientation and gender identity can change, with as many as 98 percent of boys and 88 percent of girls reverting back to their biological orientation and identity following puberty (according to the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," 5th edition).

Under this regulation, counseling must proceed towards a state-determined objective, which serves only to maximize the number of LGBT-identified Americans for political purposes. Meanwhile, helping young persons sort out their feelings and emotions in an organic, healthy way is not allowed.

This is not a ban on conversion therapy; it demands conversion therapy. It forces minors towards irreversible surgeries and hormones to change their apparent sex.

It muzzles professionally trained, licensed counselors from talking through complex emotions with minors who are still trying to understand their own bodies.

This ban is not about protecting kids or preventing discrimination. It's about power. This is suppression of speech, plain-and-simple, because those who swept in a radical, new, scientifically unfounded ideology overnight are afraid that it won't stand up to careful scrutiny unless they can silence all dissent.

Published with permission from the Family Research Council.

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Anthony Watts

Opinion , ,

Global warming hysterics want a funeral for a glacier that’s not dead yet

Anthony Watts
By Anthony Watts

August 7, 2019 (American Thinker) — The media are abuzz over the first icy "casualty" of climate change: a small glacier in Iceland named Okjökull, also known as "OK."

The claim, made in a press release from Rice University, is that OK became the first glacier in Iceland to lose its glacial status because of global warming. According to the press release, "This will be the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world."

Of course, the fear-mongers do not say why the glacier has stopped growing. Instead, they simply invoke the new universal boogeyman of "climate change" as the reason. And then they tell us about the movie, website, and hiking opportunities to witness the death of a glacier.

For the record, OK is still around, even though it hasn't grown since roughly 2003. But here comes the interesting part. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "Ok is a lava shield volcano in west-central Iceland, to the west of Langjökull."

As the U.S. Geological Survey noted, OK is actually an icecap on top of a volcano — located on a volcanically active Iceland. Yes, OK is slowly disappearing, but it is completely disingenuous to say climate change is without any doubt the main reason for OK's demise.

Even if we assume there's no heat from the volcano, what else could be causing OK's ice loss? To answer that question, you need to understand how glaciers work. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC):

A glacier forms when snow accumulates over time, turns to ice, and begins to flow outwards and downwards under the pressure of its own weight[.] ... Glacier retreat, melt, and ablation result from increasing temperature, evaporation, and wind scouring. Ablation is a natural and seasonal part of glacier life. As long as snow accumulation equals or is greater than melt and ablation, a glacier will remain in balance or even grow. Once winter snowfall decreases, or summer melt increases, the glacier will begin to retreat.

If snow is not added, glaciers don't grow, and they naturally lose ice due to sublimation, ablation, and melt. I don't think these people pushing OK's death fully understand glaciers. The process of ice loss in a high-latitude glacier is mainly due to three things, with temperature coming in last.

  1. Calving into the sea (not applicable on this glacier since it is landlocked).
  2. Ice loss through sublimation (evaporation directly to the atmosphere) or ablation (wind scouring).
  3. In some cases, melting due to elevated temperature (yet to be proven about this glacier).

Al Gore, in his movie An Inconvenient Truth, made the mistake of blaming ice loss at Mt. Kilimanjaro on "global warming." But inconveniently for Gore, the ice loss was entirely the result of there being a lack of precipitation, thus allowing the ice to sublimate.

In Iceland, glaciers are dependent on precipitation. And changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation could easily explain the change in precipitation. In a recent story from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, scientists were "shocked" to find the previously shrinking Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland growing again.

"At first we didn't believe it. We had pretty much assumed that Jakobshavn would just keep going on as it had over the last 20 years," said Ala Khazendar of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The researchers suspect the cold water was set in motion by a climate pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which causes the northern Atlantic Ocean to switch slowly between warm and cold every five to 20 years.

Besides natural cycles, there is a man-made element to consider: carbon soot from the Industrial Revolution. NSIDC says:

Over 90 percent of the measured alpine glaciers in the world are retreating, in almost every major glaciated region. The causes of this widespread retreat are varied, but the underlying primary causes are a warming climate and the effects of increased soot and dust in areas of higher agricultural and industrial activity.

Although some warming may be involved, and precipitation pattern shifts due to changes in ocean currents can easily explain the lack of snowfall, there's also the fact that OK's ice is collecting soot, and that darker soot is absorbing more sunlight, thus warming the glacier.

Glaciers have been expanding and shrinking for millennia. In the case of the OK glacier, it may not have even existed a few hundred years ago, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, which concluded, referring to the 13th to 15th century, "OK may not have had a glacier at this time because of the preceding warmer period."

Given that we didn't have gas-guzzling SUVs to drive back then, and global population was a tiny fraction of what it is now, I can't get too excited about activists who claim OK's ice reduction is due to our current use of life-improving and life-saving conventional energy sources.

Finally, how long will that memorial plaque last? Just look at what recently happened at Glacier National Park, where they had to remove plaques indicating they expected the glaciers to be gone due to climate change by 2020. And what if "OK" starts growing again? Will it become Iceland's first zombie glacier?

Anthony Watts ([email protected]is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Dayton mass shooter and Drag Queen Story Hours both motivated by hatred of women

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By Doug Mainwaring

August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) –– Reports have emerged that Dayton mass murderer Connor Betts — who killed nine people and injured dozens of others in a shooting rampage outside a bar — was the lead singer of a “pornogrind” death metal band that performed horrific songs about “rape, murder, necrophilia and other gruesome acts against women.”

Betts’s band called itself “Menstrual Munchies” and was known to wear Antifa masks and dresses while performing songs with “sexually violent, death-obsessed lyrics and dehumanizing imagery depicting women,” according to Vice News.

Among the album titles released by the band is 6 Ways of Female Butchery. Others are too graphic to print here.

The album covers reportedly depicted gruesome scenes including the rape and massacre of female bodies.

“One album cover shows a woman consuming feces, while another shows an illustration of a young woman’s headless body chained to a bed, covered in blood, as a man puts his pants back on,” according to BuzzFeed.

“The mainstream media is finally beginning to acknowledge that Connor Betts was a far-left extremist who expressed support for the anti-ICE terrorist, Antifa and the presidential candidacy of Elizabeth Warren, as well as retweeting numerous left-wing personalities and news outlets,” reported Joseph Paul Watson for Summit News.

Betts was also known to have supported socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders via social media. 

By late Monday night, CNN admitted in a tweet, “A Twitter account that appears to belong to the Dayton gunman re-tweeted extreme left-wing posts as well as tweets supporting violent protest group Antifa.”

“While much media attention has been focused on what websites radicalized the El Paso shooter,” continued Watson, “little interest has been shown in uncovering Betts’ true motive.”

By Tuesday night, the New York Post reported more of Betts’s disturbing leftist tweets:

“I want socialism, and I’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding,” reads one tweet from the account, according to Newsweek.

The account retweeted posts blasting federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents as “monsters” and referring to migrant detention centers along the southern border as “concentration camps” — echoing language recently used by firebrand New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Pornogrind and Drag Queen Story Hour: Our rising misogynist culture

“Pornogrind is a subgenre of a fast and extreme kind of heavy metal called grindcore, which is known for its mostly dark, satirical themes of sexual violence and gore delivered for shock value,” according to the BuzzFeed report

That sexual violence is directed solely toward women.

One tweet from another metal band described Betts as “another dime a dozen Ohio grind dude who caped progressive politics while treating women like s---.”

The dark, overwhelmiingly misogynist tone of Betts’s cross-dressing band is “Drag Queen Story Hour” (DQSH) carried to its logical extreme.   

Men who read pro-homosexual and pro-transgender books to young children while attired in flamboyant feminine clothing with their faces plastered in heavy, garish feminizing make-up do not celebrate or admire femininity; they mock and denegrate it. 

The dark misogyny that compelled the Ohio shooter’s band is not very different from that which compels the men now conducting DQSH in public libraries across the country. 

DQSH is not about increasing tolerance; it’s about demeaning womanhood. 

“Drag queens are very offensive to women,” explained Anna Bohac, founder of 500 Mom Strong, a local activist group in Spokane, Washington, seeking to end DQSHs.

“They are grotesque hypersexualized caricatures of women. They mock women and debase our womanhood and femininity. A drag queen is no different than a racist donning black face,” continued Bohac.

“The library hosting such an event teaches our sons that women are just sexual objects and it teaches our daughters that they must be overly sexualized to be desired. Enough is enough,” she added.

“Drag Queen Story Hour” and “pornogrind” death metal music both come from the same dark place in the hearts of men untethered from reality, who reject half the human race.

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New study shows porn not only pollutes the mind but the earth

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By Jonathon Van Maren

August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — I’ve spilled gallons of ink over the past several years urging people to kick their porn habits for a host of reasons: It kills marriages, mainstreams sexual violence, causes erectile dysfunction, and tears at our social fabric. But for those of you with a more environmentalist bent, it turns out that there’s another good reason to turn off the filth faucet: to save the planet.

I’m not kidding, either. According to recent research, compulsive porn use and Netflix binge-watching are enormous contributors to pollution. From the National Observer:

An explosion in online video consumption in recent years, propelled mostly by those two sources, created 300 million tonnes of carbon emissions (MtCO2) last year, according to research conducted by The Shift Project, a French think tank focused on a transition away from carbon. That is roughly the same amount released by Spain, or one per cent of global emissions.

Pornographic videos made up 27 per cent of all online video traffic in 2018, generating more than 80 MtCO2, while the greenhouse-gas emissions of video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime were 100 MtCO2eq/year, or similar to those of Chile, the report said.

In response, the French think tank is calling for “digital sobriety,” which I must say is a pretty great concept that I think we should all collectively get on board with. The report, in fact, explicitly lays out the fact that our societies are going to have to make tough choices if we want to address a range of environmental concerns, it is likely that we will have to choose which online video to prioritize in order to properly “manage the energy consumed by digital technologies.”

“Since we are constrained by climate crisis and the planet’s finite raw resources, not choosing means potentially allowing pornography to mechanically limit the bandwidth available for telemedicine, or allow the use of Netflix to limit access to Wikipedia,” the report notes. “In the 21st century, not choosing is no longer a viable option.”

Over at Grist, Molly Enking put it bluntly: “When it comes to climate change, there can be a lot of hand-wringing and confusion on the part of the individual. ‘How can I possibly make an impact??’ you say. ‘I’m not an elected official!’ you say. Well, here’s something you can do to help reduce emissions and fight climate change: STOP WATCHING SO MUCH PORN.” In fact, she goes on, “emissions from watching pornography alone were equal to the emissions of the entire country of Belgium.”

This is what I call a bipartisan platform with a win-win proposal: working to save the planet and the minds of the upcoming generation at the same time. I can’t think of anybody who could reasonably disagree. If reducing porn use can reduce emissions, then surely the progressives can begin plugging for a reduction in porn use the same way they champion the elimination of plastics. If digital pornography is not only rewiring the brains of children and young people, but is also hurting the planet, then surely we can link arms and declare war on the porn industry.

I already knew pornography was poisonous, but I have to admit I had no idea that it was also a factor in a crisis that progressive leaders consistently warn threatens the very existence of humanity on earth. If those pushing for action on climate change are consistent and wish to create coalitions to begin taking meaningful action, then this new research seems like a great way to bridge ideological divides and to incentivize influential interest groups to begin taking meaningful action. I, for one, look forward to progressive governments treating pornographic filth the same way they treat dirty coal — only more dangerous.

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Justin Trudeau’s LGBT activism largely appeals to white people, who think just like him

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By Jonathon Van Maren

August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — If you listen to Canada’s progressive political parties, you would think that social conservative views are virtually extinct in Canada. According to Justin Trudeau, Canadians are lockstep behind his agenda, and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer should be hanging his head in shame for refusing to revel in the sexual exhibitionism of the Great White North’s fabulous Pride Parades, which now consume much of the summer. 

Scheer’s consistent lack of attendance at these events, Trudeau and his obedient minions chirped to the media, is a profound insult to Canadians. “It’s just unfortunate that there are still some party leaders who want to be prime minister who choose to stand with people who are intolerant instead of standing with the LGBT community,” he told a gaggle of appreciative reporters solemnly. 

One has to wonder who Trudeau is referring to when he derides the “people who are intolerant.” Presumably, he means all Canadians who dislike Pride Parades (and there happens to be quite a few people who identify as "gay" who find these lewd displays distasteful, as well.) If that is the case, Trudeau is actually smearing a far larger portion of the Canadian public than he realizes. In fact, Global News reported earlier this month that “a new poll has found one in four Canadians still oppose” same-sex "marriage." 

That poll doesn’t even address the number of Canadians who oppose the Pride Parades Trudeau likes to scamper about in, a number that is probably far higher considering the range of simulated sex acts and adult nudity that are generally on display. That is a full quarter of Canadians who say that they are not on board with redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, which Canada legalized fourteen years ago. 

For those of us who are actually aware of Canada’s religious and cultural diversity, that statistic comes as no surprise. Most of Canada’s largest religious groups, including Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Orthodox Jews, and orthodox Christians, all reject the LGBT redefinition of marriage. Most new Canadians and immigrant communities are profoundly conservative on social issues—they simply do not vote on those issues, and Liberals take care not to campaign on those issues in those communities. 

But it would appear that when Justin Trudeau refers to “people who are intolerant,” he is referring primarily to non-white Canadians. According to Global News, the “poll found a cultural divide among Canadians over same-sex "marriage," with 71 per cent of respondents of European descent backing the right versus 44 per cent support from respondents of East Asian backgrounds and 42 per cent support from respondents of South Asian descent.”

Got that? Justin Trudeau thinks that the enlightened post-Christian Europeans are the “tolerant” Canadians, while the brown Canadians who have not yet dispensed with their religious and cultural heritage the way he has are "bigoted" and "intolerant." Trudeau talks a good game about diversity being our strength and all that, but when push comes to shove, he starts to get pushy. Trudeau is phenomenally intolerant of all views that do not match his own—and those most likely to hold his views, as it turns out, are white people just like himself. 

Andrew Scheer should be loudly pointing this out. When Justin Trudeau says Scheer is siding with “people who are intolerant,” is he referring to new Canadians? Syrian refugees? Immigrant communities? The full quarter of the Canadian public that holds a different view than Trudeau? Trudeau should be crystal clear: When he says that “diversity is our strength,” is he talking exclusively about the primarily white people who think just like him, or is he actually referring to the many socially conservative cultures that make up Canada’s multicultural patchwork?

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St. Dominic shows the modern world how to truly care for the poor

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

August 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — On August 4 in the old Roman calendar, August 8 in the new calendar (see here for an explanation of the discrepancy), the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of St. Dominic, invokes his intercession, and puts forth his example. As the Benedictines, Franciscans, and Jesuits at their best embody the personality and spirituality of Saint Benedict, Saint Francis, and Saint Ignatius, so, too, the Order of Preachers bears deep within it the character and charism of their founder, Dominic de Guzmán.

Saint Dominic himself is, in many ways, inimitable. His virtues and gifts are so rich that he can be partially imitated by countless men and women, while remaining beyond them as a beacon to look to, a model to strive toward. His own contemporaries recognized this. The canonization records are full of testimonies like this: “The witness had never known anyone like the man of God for continual prayer and for devotion to preaching.”

This seems to be true of all the great founders of religious orders: they might be said to precontain in themselves the spirit and purpose of their orders, and so they remain as first principles, like the sun in regard to life on Earth. We read that Saint Dominic was tireless in apostolic labors, walking thousands of miles and preaching the good news, as the brethren are supposed to do. But we also read that he spent hours of the day and night in contemplative prayer — an ideal toward which the contemplative sisters particularly strive, and for which the life of the brethren is not as perfectly suited. Dominic could combine both to perfection; most of his followers are rather more limited!

Saint Dominic’s great love was Truth — the Word of God, Jesus Christ, who nourishes us with the divine food of the Eucharist and teaches us in the human language of Sacred Scripture. The expression of his great love was the constant preaching of this Word in his words and in his actions. The goal of his preaching was never anything less than conversion: conversion of pagans into Christians, lukewarm Christians into serious ones, serious ones into saints.

The means he employed are as simple as can be: study, in order to increase the knowledge of the truth; poverty, in order to be convincing witnesses of the priority of spiritual goods over worldly ones; itinerancy, leaving one free to go wherever need demands; and, most importantly, prayer, so as to be transformed into the Love one preaches.

Such a goal and such means obviously presuppose fidelity to the Church and to her teaching, without which the herald becomes a heretic, the mendicant a miscreant, the apostle an apostate. Most importantly, the entire way of life has to be “rooted and grounded in charity” (Eph. 3:17): in the love of God for His own sake and in love of one’s neighbor as God’s image, redeemed by the Blood of Christ.

Everything we know about Saint Dominic shows us that he was consumed by love of God and love of neighbor. That love is what gave him the daring to adapt religious life in a new way to the new circumstances of his age, the insight to see how it might be done, the zeal to persevere in spite of obstacles. Wherever and whenever the Dominicans have flourished, these have been their secrets, these their means, this their goal, and God has blessed them.

What were the radical things Dominic did? Mendicant poverty — which means, to be blunt, begging for your supper. Itinerant preaching, which shook up the connection between religious and a fixed location, between priests and a fixed parish or diocese. Staying up all night to pray, and trusting in God in every circumstance, are, truth be told, no less radical, since they stem from heroic faith.

In spite of its routine humanitarian protestations to the contrary, the modern world is not really interested in the plight of the poor or the problem of poverty, and, sadly, the modern Church often seems no more interested in the full Gospel of Christ or in serious and disciplined prayer. However, there will always be people, especially among the young, who are looking for the meaning of life, for the love that makes life worth living, for the source of all reality, for the truth that soars above the incessant din of opinion. If the Dominicans today can offer what Dominic offered to the men of his age, the order will flourish now as it did at the beginning and at every peak period of its history. In this way, fidelity becomes a promise of growth and missionary efficacy, while laxity, dissent, and eclecticism are harbingers of irrelevance, indifference, and decay.

However different our world may be, it is still thirsting for the Good News; it is still making the same old mistakes that the children of Adam have always made; and it still needs the same effective remedies, which have never essentially changed.

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Protecting young minds: how to porn-proof your home and children

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Jonathon Van Maren dives into one of the most serious issues our culture is facing today, which is pornography. We all know pornography is an issue, even within Christian communities, but what can we do to protect our families? Kristen Jenson answers this question during this week’s episode of The Van Maren Show. 

 

Jenson is the author of Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids and Good Pictures, Bad Pictures Jr: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds. As the founder of Protect Young Minds and mother of three, she works to help parents porn-proof their homes and their children. Van Maren seeks to answer the many questions he’s received from parents on what they can be doing in their own homes, and Jenson provides some amazing information.


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